E3 is usually a time for development studios and big name companies like Nintendo and Microsoft to show off the newest hardware and games to get everyone excited for the upcoming titles and consoles. Sometimes, however, demos and press conferences don’t go as planned. Whether it’s less than stellar game demos, speakers that drop the ball or even special guests that don’t perform up to standards, those are the moments that become forever ingrained in our memories and immortalized on the internet. Here are the Most Embarrassing E3 Moments.
Peter Moore's Rock Band Demo
During EA’s 2007 press conference Peter Moore, then VP of Interactive Entertainment for Microsoft, got on stage with several members of the Harmonix team to demonstrate Rock Band, Harmonix upcoming title. Once the song began it became immediately clear that Moore had little experience with the guitar controller, as he misses several notes and even pauses the game unintentionally and struggles to resume playing, adding to the awkwardness of the situation. The whole ordeal only gets worse as it goes on as Moore’s inexperience combined with his singing make those short three minutes feel like three hours.
At Sony’s 2006 E3 conference developer Game Republic was showing off gameplay for Genji: Days of the Blade. Once the gameplay demo started however, and producer of Genji Bill Ritch was explaining the historical accuracy of the game, a giant crab attacks the player and Ritch adds, “So here’s this giant enemy crab.” The demo quickly falls apart from there as Ritch salvages the credibility of the game with quotable lines such as, “flip over this crab on it’s back, if he shows up,” and “real time… weapon change.” This scene has become infamous and spawned countless memes, remixes and parodies over the years and for good reason. The Genji incident is one of Sony’s Most Embarrassing E3 Moments.
Nintendo Unveils the Vitality Sensor
During its 2009 presentation, Nintendo revealed lots of great things. A new Metroid game, a Mario Galaxy sequel and even a new handheld console, the DSi. Nintendo also revealed a new peripheral for the Wii, one that some people have never even heard of, the vitality sensor. Similar to an oximeter used in hospitals, the vitality sensor clips to the user’s finger and measures his vital stats. The question on everyone’s mind during the reveal was most likely “Why?” Why indeed. The reaction to the announcement was poor enough that the peripheral was never mentioned again, and to this day remains unreleased.
At Ubisoft’s special 25th anniversary 2011 E3 press conference a presentation was held to look at some of Ubisoft’s most famous games, and what if they had been made 25 years ago. The presentation was hosted by Aaron Priceman, also known as “Mr. Caffeine,” and that’s where things begin to go south. Mr. Caffeine’s now infamous presentation included such gems as, “I’m not afraid of a few dick jokes,” ”this epic fail right herem yikes!,” ”... poop on your toothpaste!,” pronouncing Tom Clancy’s name as “Tom Cuh-lancy,” and who could forget, “doodly doodly doop,” multiple times. Mr. Caffeine did his name a great service and left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
At E3 2008 Nintendo revealed Wii Music, which looked to be a promising new title that took full advantage of the Wii’s motion controls. What resulted was a demonstration that was off rhythm at best, and uncomfortable and boring at worst. The demo featured a full minute of nothing but a drummer playing the Wii’s virtual drums in an odd, offbeat fashion that did all but impress us with the motion controls and ended in a full band demonstration of World 1 from Super Mario Bros. that only showed us more of the mediocre motion controls and went on for a bit too long.
Jamie Kennedy's Actvision Presentation
In 2007, Activision thought it was a good idea to hire Jamie Kennedy to host its E3 presentation. Activision could not have been more wrong. Jamie Kennedy’s performance was nothing short of painful to watch, uncomfortable for all in attendance, and even those at home watching. Not only were his jokes forced, bad or in poor taste, he was clearly either drunk or on drugs during the whole ordeal. Kennedy not only fumbled through much of the words he was reading off of the teleprompter, but struggled to deliver even his own jokes. The resulting trainwreck ensured that Kennedy would never be asked to host another E3 event since, and we can all be thankful for that.
In 2007, Nintendo showed off the newly revealed Wii Fit and the accompanying balance board for the first time. While on stage Shigeru Miyamoto announced that they would be demonstrating the “body check” feature on Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America. Prior to stepping onto the balance board Reggie exclaimed, “My body is ready!” and internet history was made. This is much less of a disaster or awkward presentation and more of a once-in-a-lifetime moment that has been immortalized by the internet and made Reggie a favorite among Nintendo fans.
The Playstation 3 wasn’t the only thing being shown off at Sony’s 2006 E3 conference. The PSP was also a main attraction, and one of the titles announced for the system was Ridge Racer. The true humor in this situation comes not only from Kaz Hirai’s disproportionately enthusiastic announcement of, “It’s Ridge Racer! Riiidge Racer!,” but the awkward and slow build up of him waiting for the game to start up after starting up the PSP. The few seconds before the game starts feel like minutes as the audience waits to see what new game is about to be revealed for the PSP, and Hirai’s proclamation is truly the icing on the cake.
Konami's 2013 E3 Conference
Yes, Konami’s infamous 2010 E3 showing had so many memorable moments that the entire thing deserves a place on this list. From the painfully slow and quiet Ninety Nine Nights 2 announcement, to the unintentionally hilarious Dance Masters demo. The conference was full of great lines like, “One million troops,” “extreeeeeeme hack and slash title,” “You can move your fat body freely,” and of course, “if you press X, X, X, Y, Y, Y, and X, X, X, Y, Y you’ll be sucked.” The conference was full of other strangely gimmicky game reveals and the whole thing ends up as one of the worst E3 conferences that Konami has had in recent years, easily earning it a spot among our Most Embarrassing E3 Moments.
PlayStation 3's Controller Confusion
When Sony first revealed the Playstation 3 in 2005, it neglected to fully show off the controller although it was present in the displays for the system. Sony also didn’t talk about the controller at all during the conference and instead focused on the console’s specs. The controller that was shown was dubbed “the boomerang” due to it’s shape, and it featured the DualShock 2 button layout, although the shoulder buttons were much higher and closer together. The button layout looked uncomfortable,to say the least, and fan reaction was negative enough to cause sony to reveal the Sixaxis as the final controller for the PS3.
Microsoft showed off its Project Natal, which is now known as the Kinect during their 2009 E3 conference with Kudo Tsunoda at the helm. The Kinect worked about as well as you would expect it to during Tsunoda’s demonstration of its motion controls and everything was running fairly smoothly. That was until Tsunoda said, “Ever wonder what the bottom of an Avatar’s shoe looks like?” When he made the gesture to show the bottom of his shoe and said, “Bam! There it is!,” the onscreen Avatar went completely haywire and twisted into a very weird position and Tsunoda immediately went on to another segment.
In 2010, Ubisoft hired Joel Mchale to host its E3 press conference, and it went fairly well. What didn’t go so well was the reveal of the new game, Battle Tag, during McHale’s speech about new ways to play games. While speaking, he’s interrupted by a group of people playing laser tag, and a now visibly irate McHale has to endure the five minutes of laser tag happening around him. Not only was the reveal done poorly, but the game itself was nothing more than laser tag you can play at home. Something no one, especially Joel McHale, was impressed with.
Aisha Tyler's E3 2012 Ubisoft Conference
Aisha Tyler, of ‘Archer’ and ‘The Talk’ fame, hosted Ubisoft’s 2012 E3 press conference, and the results were hilariously awkward. From making references to her “girl wood,” to her “we’re a little bit gay, all of us,” joke, her performance was unintentionally funny at best, and awkward at worst. Her banter with Toby Turner only makes matters worse as they both seem unprepared to talk to each other every time it comes up. Toby Turner has his own moments of missed humor and less than witty banter, but Aisha’s missteps take center stage here.
In 1995 things were good for Sega, even with stiff competition from Nintendo and Sony and the advent of 3D gaming. Sega surprised everyone, and I mean everyone with its reveal of the Sega Saturn. Not only did Sega announce the console, but it announced that the Saturn was available immediately, a full four months ahead of schedule. This sounds like a great move on Sega’s part, but in reality it was a huge mistake, since many developers had no idea the console would be out so soon, leaving the console with very few games at launch. Not only that, but the $399 price tag was the final nail in the coffin for the system and Sega, at least for a few years.
Kinect Disneyland Adventures Demo
To show off its newest Kinect title: Disneyland Adventures, Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to not only have children demonstrate the game, but have it be scripted as well. Neither of those things is necessarily bad on their own, but together they make for a very boring, and almost painful to watch experience for everyone. The children reading their lines poorly, but that’s not their fault since they were given generic and cringeworthy lines even for kids. To add to that even the gameplay feels choreographed and fake. Overall, the demo was the longest two and a half minutes of the event.
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